Yoruba Gelede Female Face and Body Mask – 20th Century Nigeria – Ex Allan Stone Collection


SKU: AF-028 Categories:,

Product Description

20th c.
Carved wood, paint
Without stand: 34″ x 16″ x 16″
Provenance: Allan Stone Collection, New York
Among the Western Yoruba, nocturnal and diurnal masquerade performance (efe and gelede) honor the spiritual powers of elderly women known as “our mothers” (awon iya wa). Touching upon virtually all aspects of Yoruba life and thought, efe and gelede imagery entertains and enlightens the community – the “children of our mothers”. Gelede masks are worn by men, but may portray a wide range of male and female characters. The actual festival involves street orchestras, a lavish display of costume, dance, music, singing, and drama designed to entertain and involve the viewers.


Okediji, Moyo. Art of the Yoruba. African Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Studies 23, no. 2, 1997, pp. 172-174 Vogel, Susan, ed. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013, p. 115

Additional information


16 × 16 × 34 in